Perle Cotton Question – Postage Stamp Quilt–Soon!

Craftsy, Handful of Scraps, Postage Stamp Quilt

Question:  If you have big stitched a quilt with Perle Cotton – what size thread did you use? What size needle did you use?  Were you happy with it?  Which brand and how much would you think it would take to quilt my Postage Stamp quilt with this thread?  I am thinking about it as this quilt is so whimsical (to me) that it might be neat to do it with that kind of thread I must admit to not knowing how much to buy though nor what size!  For a queen size quilt I usually use about 500 to 800 yards of thread.  I’m not even sure how many yards of thread are on those spools of Perle cotton – would need to check!!   this is the quilt I am talking about in case you are new to my blog and do not know which I am talking about.  At the moment I think I will quilt a line down the middle of the white strips and echo quilt around the flowers and things on the border – this might change to a grid of diamonds instead on the border not positive at the moment.  The clam shell grass will be outlined in some way most likely in a green thread.  It is next up on the quilting frame for when The Final Frontier comes off.  I had thought I had a batting but I didn’t so ordered a king size and it will come by Saturday or Monday and I do have a backing – it is a very light beige with white flowers.



Between laundry, getting my hair cut, Wal-Mart to pick up a few things and shopping for jeans I managed to finish one hexie for Handful of Scraps – it is not on the design wall right now though but I stuck in place anyhow and took a photo – the quilt is just draped over the quilt on the frame for now while Williamsburg Beauty is on the wall – that quilt will be moving to the dining room table though today and Handful of Scraps will probably be moved back to the wall for awhile.  I am linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict Fort Worth Fabric Studio, and A Quilting Reader’s Garden & Crazy Mom Quilts and I am also linking to Busy Hands Quilts: Finished or Not Fridays.


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38 comments… add one
  • Kathi Oct 28, 2016

    Karen, I love a big stitching… esp on the center area… think of a 12 weight Aurifil thread for that part.. then I would either chose 12 weights for your outer borders or if you want those outer borders more “artsy” try a valdani brand perlr is 12 or 8. For the 12 weight Auruful I get mine at Hawthorne Threads online … I love the true colors on my monitor and their fast shipping… I find Valdani at Red Rock threads here recently or do a google search online. For needles I use a chenille needle in what size you like as they have big eyes and sharp points…I like John James brand and google for what size I like… for the 12 wt Aurifil I found large eyed quilting needles by Dritz in the sewing notions section of Joanns work well and once I lick the thread it threads without a threaded. I use a wire threader though when needed for the valdani.. found it on eBay cheap :). Think about those white striped being gentle curves within their line in a fun contrasting color… they do have variegated too though… as does Valdani! Enjoy having fun whatever you decide!!!! Kathi
    Kathi recently posted…Thanks to Hurricane Matthew… it has been almost 3 weeks now since I quilted!!!My Profile

    • Karen Oct 28, 2016

      I have not used Aurifil or seen it in the heavy weight – I will give it a look, I normally use Red Rock Threads so I will look and see what they have too

  • Elaine Oct 28, 2016

    I like aurifil 12 wt or perle size 12 or 8 – the 8 is thicker so you get more of a folk art whimsical look – I use a chenille embroidery needle – large eye and very sharp! You have to sort of change technique a bit – difficult to do a rocking quilting type stitch – more of a running embroidery stitch if that makes sense
    I used 12 wt auriful for my son’s quilt – it goes really fast!
    Elaine recently posted…A Glasgow RoseMy Profile

    • Karen Oct 28, 2016

      I will need to check this Aurifil 12 wt out I have not used it

  • JoAnna Oct 28, 2016

    I haven’t done any big stitch quilting but I have a top here that I am finishing and plan to big stitch quilt so I am looking forward to reading everyone’s comments!

    • Karen Oct 28, 2016

      I have big stitched a small baby quilt here and there but nothing big and never with a special thread.

  • Deb Oct 28, 2016

    i have not done any big stitch / perle quilting but as soon as I saw the question I was recalling Audrey over at Quilty Folk mentioning what she likes. Would not have remembered the name until I looked at the comments thus far and I think it was the Valdani. I think that she got a bunch of it from her husband for Christmas or a birthday or something …:)
    Deb recently posted…After a summer hiatus my Blue Jay buddy is backMy Profile

    • Karen Oct 28, 2016

      I will need to check out that post of Audrey’s I do remember her mentioning it too now that you mention it. I will send her off an email if I can’t find it or if she doesn’t drop in today on the post

  • Ruth Oct 28, 2016

    The quilt is stunning! I’d go for a size 12 if they have it. And I’d use a running stitch just because it’s easier to needle.
    Ruth recently posted…Dresden platesMy Profile

    • Karen Oct 28, 2016

      whatever I get I will need to order as we have none here – all I have is Hobby lobby

  • Kat Oct 28, 2016

    I have done large stitching some. I have used pearl cotton, Karen I’m not sure yardage on a spool but I believe it took 4 or 5 balls to do a queen size. I’ve also used crochet thread, which comes in large balls but colors are limited. So depending on what color you want it might not work. It quilted up beautiful for me and was the least expensive way to go. I have used 12wt thread also and there you have an endless choice of colors. I don’t think I helped much other than just add to your confusion of which one. I too used a chenille needle because I had them, they are sharp and have big eyes. Worked just fine. Looking forward to what you decide.
    Kat recently posted…Something Farm RelatedMy Profile

    • Karen Oct 28, 2016

      I will need to get busy looking at the places I normally buy thread from! thanks for your input

  • Doreen Oct 28, 2016

    Aurifil 12 weight is fabulous for utility (big stitch) quilting. I’ve also used perle cottons in the past but I think Aurifil is stronger with less twist while sewing. You can use Sashiko, long embroidery or big eye needles. If you don’t have a quilt shop near by then Walmart should carry Sashiko needles (pepper cory’s brand) and hobby lobby may carry Clover brand Sashiko needles. These are Japanese needles used for thick thread quilting and embroidery. But long embroidery or hand needles will work too.
    Doreen recently posted…More Fall Treats for OctoberMy Profile

    • Karen Oct 28, 2016


  • Sandra B Oct 28, 2016

    I have not used Perle cotton for quilting, and I have not done big stitch quilting, so I am afraid I am no help at all! However, I do think Audrey, over at Quilty Folk, would be a great resource…as someone else mentioned in an earlier comment…
    Cannot wait to see what you decide … I know it will be great!

    • Karen Oct 28, 2016

      I do believe from the research I have done and from others have to say that Aurifil #12 is the way to go – the prices aren’t bad either!

  • Cynthia Oct 28, 2016

    I use aurifil 12, and I especially love the variegated colors. My needle preference is a crewed size 10. Sometimes I use DMC size 8 perle. I mostly make full to queen size quilts which take about 2.5 of the aurifil or about 5 perle balls, but I quilt fairly densely. (Free hand Baptist fans.)

    • Karen Oct 28, 2016

      I usually quilt fairly dense also but on the postage stamp there are so many seams I think I will just quilt in the straight rows of white and the border – the patchwork is completely seams! I love the variegated too and have spent part of the morning looking at them – I think I have decided on a green I have a lot of needles of various sizes so I will try some of those first and if they do not work I will order some others or look and see what the craft store has

  • Gemini Jen NZ Oct 28, 2016

    Totally love that appliqued border – have pinned this to my to-do list!
    Gemini Jen NZ recently posted…Apple PatchMy Profile

    • Karen Oct 28, 2016

      thank you! I hope to start quilting it in about two weeks – maybe 3

  • Myra Oct 28, 2016

    Your quilt is stunning! It’s so pretty – I’d love if you’d link to my Finished or Not Friday Linky Party at Busy Hands Quilts each week!

    • Karen Oct 28, 2016

      sure thing – I will check out your link

  • Claire Witherspoon Oct 28, 2016

    Really beautiful top! Can’t wait to see how you finish it!!!

    • Karen Oct 28, 2016

      thanks Claire – I’m eager to get started so I guess I better finish the quilt on the frame first 🙂

  • Tanya Quilts Oct 28, 2016

    I have used DMC perle cotton #8 and #12. Eight is thicker and will show more and is a little harder to tug through. #12 is a nice choice that is a little thicker than quilting thread, but thinner than the #8. I also recommend you use Thread Heaven–in the small blue cube at Joanns to make it go smoother. Good luck and please don’t hesitate to ask any more questions. I only hand quilt with perle cotton.
    Tanya Quilts recently posted…Indian SummerMy Profile

    • Karen Oct 28, 2016

      I have been hand quilting for years but have only big stitched a couple times on baby quilts never a large one – I do have thread heaven and ordered Aurifil #12 – it will be hard to take bigger stitches after years of tiny ones!

  • Paige Oct 28, 2016

    This is amazing! I don’t have any experience hand quilting, but is sounds like you’ve gotten some great advice.

    • Karen Oct 29, 2016

      I’ve been hand quilting for 25+ years so I’m sure I will not be big stitching like others do – I won’t be able to take big stitches after years of tiny ones – but the thread should stand out more!

  • Kate Oct 29, 2016

    I don’t have any experience with the Perel cotton, so I’m not help on that front. But I like the sound of your quilting plans.
    Kate recently posted…Rainbow Scrap Challenge – Mellow Yellow, MaybeMy Profile

    • Karen Oct 29, 2016

      I have never used this type of thread for a big quilt so we will see what happens – I know my “big” stitches will not be super big – after years of watching to make sure I have small stitches I’m sure they will be smaller than big stitches but I want the effect the heavy thread has – you can see it better.

  • Sharon Oct 29, 2016

    I really love your postage stamp quilt! The flowers in the border are gorgeous! I have never done big stitch quilting but am anxious to try it so I am very interested in hearing what other quilters have to say. BTW, I found you through Crazy Mom Quilts.

    • Karen Oct 29, 2016

      thank you Sharon and so glad you found me through Crazy Mom. I have only done a couple small baby quilts with the big stitch never a big one like this. I will be posting progress reports as I get going and take it day to day normally so stop by and keep in touch

  • Cathy Oct 30, 2016

    I have quilted 2 larger quilts using the big stitch. The first quilt I used the DMC perle cotton #8 which is nice thread but I used the brand Wonderfil #5 the second quilt. I use a #5 embroidery needle, the eye is larger and the needle and the thread are the same size. I believe it’s Fons and Porter that makes a red needle threader that last a long time, don’t buy a cheap one. I use the black leather thimbles that have the metal disk at the tip and then I put a rubber finger that are used for sorting papers over the leather thimble. I found that it’s sometimes hard to pull the needle through all three layer depending on where where your needle is coming up. The rubber finger holds onto the needle tight.

    • Karen Oct 30, 2016

      I have been hand quilting for years so I have my favorite thimbles and needle threaders – it was just the thread for the big stitch that I wondered what people used and what kind of needles – I am not sure if the needles I have though will be comfortable to use – I am used to very tiny needles. thanks for your info. I can not use the thimbles that cover up the top of the finger I find them very uncomfortable and not flexible enough. I use stick on metal disc and leather stick ons as well.

  • CARLA Oct 30, 2016

    I use Presencia size 12 so much better than size 8 or five. I use an embroidery needle or the Fons and Porter needles that are made for big stitching. The balls of perle come in differnt sizes and I never seem to use as much as the quilting is not quite as dense when I hand quilt with finer threads.
    CARLA recently posted…Finally Finished!My Profile

    • Karen Oct 30, 2016

      I hope the Aurifil #12 that a lot recommended is just as nice that is what I ended up ordering. I found Pepper Corey’s big stitch needles so will try those first but might end up back to my embroidery needles if they do not work – we will see!

  • Karen Nov 2, 2016

    Your postage stamp quilt is stunning! I can’t wait to see it with the hand quilting. I have no experience in hand quilting. I’ve started a 1.5″ postage stamp quilt too but nothing fancy like yours.

    • Karen Nov 2, 2016

      the border is the only thing that makes it “fancy” I’m looking forward to starting on it.

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